Starting with the 2011-12 school year, every student entering the 7th through 12th grade in a public or private school in California will be required to receive the booster shot against pertussis. The new requirement is part of the recently adopted Assembly Bill 354, which requires students to have been immunized against (pertussis) whooping cough. The shot, commonly called Tdap also protects against tetanus. Tdap stands for Tetanus toxoid, reduced Diphtheria Toxoid and acellular Pertussis vaccine.
The California Department of Health recently mailed every school district in the state an “early alert to schools” bulletin to inform them of the new requirements. The Fremont Union High School District has posted information regarding the Whooping Cough epidemic and the pertussis booster shot on its website at fuhsd.org. The law does allow exemptions for verified medical conditions or personal beliefs.
The early alert states that for the 2011-12 school year, all student entering grades 7 through 12 will need to show the school proof of a Tdap booster shot before they can begin school the year. Students can meet this requirement by getting one dose of the Tdap vaccine on or after their 10th birthday. This new law that begins July 1, 2011, does not apply to summer school students.
Starting July 1, 2012, all students entering 7th grade will have to show proof of the pertussis booster shot before they can begin the school year. If needed, adults should also get a Tdap booster shot to help protect themselves and their family from Whooping Cough. Those who don’t know when they last had a Tdap booster should check with their doctor.
Early Alert to Schools Letter, CA Dept of Public Health.